Nicola Cameron’s back with another saucy tale to woo you. Welcome, Nicole!
Thanks for letting me come on your blog today! Trickster is my first M/M shifter story, and was originally intended to be a short story submission for Evernight’s Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition anthology. Obviously that didn’t happen, and now I have a prequel and a sequel in mind because my Muse is a slave-driving snot that way.
When I decided to do a shifter story, I wanted to pick an animal that interested me. I see coyotes all the time in my North Dallas suburb (the scene where Mark is tracked by a coyote while out running? Yeah, that may have been based on real life. My coyote was supremely disinterested in me, though, which was probably a good thing), and over the past few years I’ve developed a respectful fondness for them, so that’s why I chose them as my shifter animal when I started writing the story. As for the setting and industrial espionage subplot, those may have been influenced by my career in various tech companies. Oh, the stories I could tell you if I hadn’t signed those pesky NDAs…
Delaney Smith, coyote shifter and Trickster Technologies executive, thinks humans are bland, boring, and undateable. So he gets the shock of his life when he comes back from vacation and scents his mate in the Trickster offices — a mate who is not only male, but quite human.
Mark Fellowes is taken aback when the CTO at his new contract job makes a pass at him, and even more surprised at his temptation to respond. Straight and dating a career-minded businesswoman, he’s never even thought about kissing another man — until now.
When Mark is attacked by thieves trying to steal company files, Delaney must put aside his preconceptions to protect his mate. But will a criminal bent on destroying Trickster Tech separate them before he can stake his claim?
Delaney cleared his throat. Mark yelped and spun, bumping into the dresser next to the bed. The towel around his waist started to slip, and Delaney caught a glimpse of pale, muscled hip before he yanked the terrycloth back into place.
Panting, he glared at Delaney. “Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you?” he yelled. “Do you even know how to knock?”
“I did,” Delaney said, trying to sound innocent. “You didn’t answer so I got worried. Didn’t know you were in the shower until I came in here.” And you were coming in there.
Without his glasses, Mark’s resemblance to a furious faun was even more striking. “God. I do not need any more of this tonight,” he growled.
“You, sneaking around and following me everywhere.” He scowled at Delaney’s groin. “Especially with another fucking hard on.”
For some reason, that cheered the shifter. “You noticed, huh?”
“Helen Keller would have noticed it, all right? Does it ever go down?”
“Not since this morning. I can’t help it, babe. I smell you and I get wood.”
“Oh, Jesus.” Mark edged next to the bed, clutching both towels now and looking hunted. “Look, I’m tired. I just want to put on some pajamas and crash, all right? I’ve had a really bad, weird day, so how about we can talk about shapeshifters and,” he waved vaguely between them, “that other thing in the morning.”
Delaney ignored the slap of disappointment and nodded. “Okay. We’ll talk later when you’re not tired.” Although you weren’t too tired to jerk off in the shower.
Mark’s cheeks blazed to life. “You listened to me?”
Oh, shit, he can hear my thoughts already? “I didn’t mean to, but coyotes have really good hearing,” Delaney said defensively. “At least you got off. My balls are aching so much I can barely walk straight.”
“So go to your own damn bathroom and rub one out there!”
“It’s not about getting off, dammit!” Delaney yelled back, before catching himself. “Okay, it’s not just about getting off. God, I really wish you were a shifter. Then you’d understand.”
“Well, I’m not a shifter,” Mark snapped, “so you’re just going to have to explain it to the stupid human.”
“I — Jesus.” Delaney sucked in a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down and find the right words. “Being drawn to a mate, it isn’t just physical. It’s emotional and spiritual as well.” He gestured at his groin. “Yes, I want to fuck you. That’s pretty damn obvious. I also want to know you. I want to talk to you, find out everything about you—where you grew up, what your family’s like, whether you like sports, what your favorite food is, your opinion on Steven Moffat, what you want to do with the rest of your life, all that. And I want you to get to know me, too.”
Nicola Cameron is an expatriate Chicagoan who has lived in England, Canada, Holland, and Sweden, and keeps a confusing amalgamation of languages in her head as a result. Currently located in the clavicle of Texas, she has finally mastered the proper use of “y’all,” much to her Chicago family’s dismay.
Despite a healthy interest in sex since puberty, it wasn’t until 2012 that Nicola decided to try writing about it. As it turned out, the skills she picked up during her SF writing career transferred rather nicely to erotic romance. When not writing, she wrangles cats, smooches her husband, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture…).
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